A WOMAN who scarred a model for life by glassing her in an unprovoked attack has been jailed for six years.
Kelly Watterson, 37, from Widnes, Cheshire, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today for the violent assault on single mum-of-three Gemma Hilton.
Part-time model and care assistant Hilton was viciously set upon as she waited for a friend at Woody's Bar, in Liverpool, at 1.15am on February 5.
Shocking photos shared by the model show the impact of the section 18 wounding.
34-year-old Hilton needed more than 50 stitches and a three-hour operation to treat her horrific injuries.
She was left with two huge facial lacerations – one of which completely pierced her cheek – after being struck twice by the glass.
She previously told how the scars had made her afraid to leave the house, and impacted her relationship with her children.
"When I first came out of hospital my kids were terrified of me," she said.
"They hid in the wardrobe and said 'that's not my mum'."
The court was shown CCTV footage of the incident, which shows Watterson drunkenly hugging and kissing Hilton despite being a complete stranger to her.
When Hilton pushes Watterson out of her personal space, the 37-year-old can then be seen throwing her glass of wine over the model, before smashing her glass into Hilton's face.
The court heard how Watterson, who has a seven-year-old daughter, had been unable to persuade friends or family to come drinking with her on the night of the attack and was suffering from negative body image.
But the prosecution argued that Miss Hilton's confidence, which was only just recovering after a break-up, had been damaged even further by the attack.
Paul Blasbery, prosecuting, said: "After splitting from the father of her three children in 2011 Miss Hilton suffered a serious blow to her self-confidence.
"Her life is for her children and she tries to do everything for them whenever she can.
"She managed to get some work dancing and modelling and buy her own house – she was making progress and that progress repaired her confidence.
"All the progress she made has been totally wiped away due to this incident, which will stay with her for the rest of her life.
Blasbery said Hilton had struggled to recover from both the attack and the scarring resulting from it.
"She is conscious of her scars and feels any woman would feel the same.
"She is a young woman who one day would like to have a relationship but feels her scars may put off any prospective partner.
He added that Hilton thought it unlikely that she would ever work as a model again, adding to her distress.
"She has suffered sleepless nights and nightmares.
"She suffers anxiety and breathing problems but tried to hide them from her children because she knows they will be scared," he said.
"When she first came home from hospital her children ran away because they said she looked scary.
"Once she managed to convince them to come over they have not left her alone since."
Miss Hilton underwent a three-hour operation at the maxillofacial unit at Aintree University Hospital after the attack and spent three days in hospital.
The mum-of-three experiences shooting pains through her head, is unable to smile properly, and the left side of her face is completely numb.
The court heard this means liquid embarrassingly drips out of her mouth when she drinks and the attack has caused her to also suffer sleepless nights, nightmares, anxiety and breathing problems.
She may also need to have further surgery.
The court heard that mum-of-one Watterson has shown extreme remorse, attempting to meet Hilton to apologise.
Carmel Wilde, defending, said: "She feels awful about what she has done and thinks she deserves to be punished, but the biggest punishment for this defendant would be missing out on her daughter growing up."
Sentencing Watterson, Judge Steven Everett said: "What you did was a terrible thing and it may be a Jekyll and Hyde situation for all I know.
"You can see on the CCTV how you were pestering your victim, how you would not let her go.
"It is quite obvious to me she was patient with you while you were poring over her, invading her space, putting your face in hers.
"You were looking for something and you would not let it go.
"You did not give your daughter any thought while you were whacking this complainant with a glass, and that is something you need to ponder long and hard.
"Your family have shown sympathy and they have asked me to show mercy but mercy is not an appropriate word in this case. I will show justice."
Speaking after the sentencing Miss Hilton, from Roby, Liverpool, said: "I am still shocked but I feel so relieved.
"I am really happy with the result.
"I can't even contemplate meeting Watterson now but maybe in a few months' time.
"It has closed the book and my children and I can finally move on."
After her attack Miss Hilton launched an appeal for bars and clubs in Liverpool city centre to only use plastic glasses after 12am and her friends and family set up a petition.